Last month the market posted that it was closing, saying “After a whole lot of trying we've not been successful in renewing our event permit to allow Southside Fresh Market to continue at its current location,” said the post.
Market Manager Judith Turner told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay the market wasn’t able to renew a one-month event permit because, as she was told by City of St. Petersburg Zoning, the market “wasn’t the intended use for the lot”.
“We knew it was coming so we’d planned to move anyway,” Turner said.
“Between the buzz, people are beginning to know who we are. They want to support positive action,” Michael “Spirit Mike” Chaney, a Southside Fresh Market advisory committee member famous for his stimulus check garden, told CL.
One of the plans for the market is the return of its retail-ready program, which helps vendors learn about how to get products shelf-ready for stores. Applicants learn the ropes from food safety compliance to how to sustain a business and product development. Applications are still open and the program starts in January.
“My hope is to have a place as a hub that has everything you need in agricultural business. There’s a lot of people scared because there’s no one to help them,” Chaney said.
Turner bluntly said her hope for the market is to get money in people’s pockets. She said it’s a way to empower people to solve their own problems from within.
“I want people to be self-sufficient and a place to come together. The best part is meeting people and hearing their stories,” she said.